Blood River by David Greske
Reviewed by Geoff Nelder
- Publisher: Charles River Press (November 2, 2009)
- ISBN-13: 978-0982094648
A group of teenagers are generous enough to pick up a drop-dead gorgeous female hitchhiker. Sadly, that was an error and the blisteringly hot weather becomes locally freezing as they discover the chills of a vampire sub-culture. This is no standard vampire story; you are taken on a veritable smorgasbord of erotic sensual blood-letting. A must read for aficionados of the genre. It seems that every vampire cliché lurks around the next page but Greske works those around formula-breaking scenarios. For example, we have become used to vampires sizzling up in daylight, but that has only been the case since early film versions of Dracula. In the Bram Stoker original novel, the vampire didn’t avoid sunshine though his powers were reduced. Hence the luscious Annabella in Blood River can be in the sun (she is said to be a minion) so we have a little though welcome departure from the stereotype.
There are some neat writerly phrases using sensory Show. For example many writers forget to use sound other than in speech but this is a nice example where your brain is obliged to trigger other memories: ‘Agnes dropped the trio of stakes next to the font … sounded like dried bones when they slapped against each other.’
There are a few old jokes (you rent beer) and some corny sub-plot clichés but it is a fun read – made quicker by the surprise of a large typeface, and the contemporary fashion of short chapters. Of the characters, Godfrey is the one I most empathised with, and not just because it is my real first name! He carries his thoughtfulness and reading experience into the mystery to the benefit of his friends though some die before they are convinced.
Blood River would make a fine extra birthday or seasonal present for anyone you know who would hug you for an erotic bloodfest.
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